Birmingham & Black Country

Mohammed Saleem killed leaving prayers in Small Heath

Mohammed Saleem
Image caption Mohammed Saleem walked to the mosque five times a day

A grandfather of 22 has been stabbed to death while on his way home from evening prayers at a Birmingham mosque.

Mohammed Saleem, 75, was found after being stabbed three times in Green Lane, Small Heath, on Monday night.

Police said there was no evidence he had been the victim of a robbery or a racist attack and they were puzzled by the motive.

Mr Saleem's daughter, Shazia Khan, said neighbours heard screams and called for an ambulance.

She said her father was a lovely man and the family was shocked he had died in such a brutal way.

Image caption Police have cordoned off the surrounding area, which includes Wyndcliffe Primary School

Ms Khan said her father used to walk to the mosque five times each day.

He lived in a terraced house off Little Green Lane with his wife.

Police said a post-mortem examination showed Mr Saleem had been stabbed three times in the back.

The area where the attack happened, which also includes Wyndcliffe Primary School, was cordoned-off on Tuesday.

The school was closed following the stabbing.

'Very vulnerable'

West Midlands Ambulance Service said Mr Saleem had been taken to Heartlands Hospital but was confirmed dead shortly after arriving there.

West Midlands Police said detectives were examining CCTV footage and speaking to local residents.

Det Supt Mark Payne said they were still trying to work out the motive behind the attack.

He said: "He doesn't appear to have been an obvious robbery target - he wasn't carrying a lot of cash, he didn't carry a mobile phone - we are a bit puzzled as to what the motive might be at this stage.

Image caption Tassadaq Hussein, from the mosque on Green lane, said he was saddened by Mr Saleem's death

"He was a 75-year-old man, he was very vulnerable and he couldn't defend himself.

"It's important for people in the community to come forward and tell us what they know."

Det Supt Payne said there was also "no evidence" that Mr Saleem had been a victim of a racist attack, but said officers were examining every line of inquiry.

Tassadaq Hussein, head of community relations and development at the mosque on Green Lane, described Mr Saleem as "a good man with a strong sense of humour".

Mr Hussein said: "We are quite shocked and saddened because he was a very bubbly character.

"I think people are quite anxious and quite surprised and I think they'll be slightly wary leaving the mosque in the evenings."

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